We Like to Watch: Body Double

Many filmmakers explore the themes of doubling and voyeurism, but few have done it as consistently or successfully as Brian De Palma. One of the handful (or two handfuls!) of masterpieces in his filmography, Body Double (1984) perfectly illustrates De Palma’s (and D.P. Steven H. Burum’s) visual interrogation of these elements while also implicating us, the audience, in the film’s prevailing acts of voyeurism. After all, as Jake (Craig Wasson) says to Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), “I like to watch,” and so do we.

It’s also worth noting that after two consecutive posts on Scarface, this marks three in a row for De Palma films. Strictly coincidental, but I like it. He’s one of my favorites, and his films never fail to entertain and challenge audiences. And as visual stylists go, he’s tough to beat. He certainly knew how to frame Body Double‘s doubled bodies – belonging to Melanie Griffith and Deborah Shelton – with plenty of style to spare.

4 thoughts on “We Like to Watch: Body Double

  1. Melanie Griffith looks fabulous in profile here, mind you she looked great in any situation back then. It’s a shame her career tanked after Bonfire of the Vanities, because she was someone I always enjoyed watching. Body Double is one of her films I haven’t seen, but that doesn’t stop me appreciating the images you’ve shared here. Nice selection my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great selection of pics for a dark and tricky film; although it’s not considered peak De Palma, it’s the essence of his cinema, reworking Hitchcock but making something more exteme and more personal…will be having another look based on this, great piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I watched it again about two weeks ago and I already want to watch it again. Definitely a perfect encapsulation of what makes De Palma great.

      Liked by 1 person

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